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‘It would have been weird if we wouldn't have won first’: Oshie opens up about former team hoisting the Cup

‘It would have been weird if we wouldn't have won first’: Oshie opens up about former team hoisting the Cup

ARLINGTON, Va. -- T.J. Oshie spent the first seven years of his NHL career trying to bring a Cup to St. Louis. Four years after he was traded to the Capitals, the Blues finally earned the franchise’s first championship.

Now after seeing his old team win, Oshie is happy for the city and his former teammates...but it helps that the Caps won it in 2018.

“I think it would have been weird if we wouldn't have won first,” Oshie said. “But no, I was very happy for those guys. I was happy to see the city of St. Louis.”

Oshie said he FaceTimed some of his former teammates the next morning while on his way to a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. He discovered the celebration had not yet stopped.

“They hadn't gone to bed yet after the night they won so they were still there with the Cup,” he said.

The fact that Oshie has a championship of his own to celebrate certainly allows for him to be happy for his former team, but it also brings with it more drive.

“There's a different type of motivation,” he said. “Before it was like, 'This is ours. Let's keep it.' We didn't play St. Louis, they didn't take it from us, but that's kind of the feeling that you get.”

There were many points last season that could have been seen as moments to “turn the page” from Washington's Cup run: The start of the season, the banner raising, the White House visit, the start of the playoffs, Washington’s elimination at the hands of the Hurricanes, etc. But none of those moments brought with them the finality and reality of seeing Alex Pietrangelo lift the Cup.

The Caps are no longer the defending champs, they are no longer the team everyone is chasing and, despite his friendships with former teammates and his love for St. Louis, Oshie wants to see the Caps reclaim Lord Stanley.

“Our year will be, hopefully, a little bit more focused on getting that drive back to reclaim it,” Oshie said, “And hopefully bring another Cup to D.C.”

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Caps beat Ducks in game dominated by fisticuffs and physical play

Caps beat Ducks in game dominated by fisticuffs and physical play

WASHINGTON -- A huge fight in the second that resulted in the ejection of Garnet Hathway stole all the attention from Monday's game between the Capitals and Anaheim. On the scoresheet and in the standings, however, it will still count as two points as the Caps defeated the Ducks with little trouble, 5-2.

Here's how the Caps won.

Panik's first goal

Coming into Monday's contest, Richard Panik had zero points in his first 12 games as a Cap. He finally got the monkey off his back on Monday 50 seconds into the game.

The third line had a dominant shift early in the game, keeping possession with strong forecheck work and cycling the puck. Travis Boyd, playing in his second game after getting recalled from Hershey, took a pass and found Panik from behind the net. Panik had room and fired a wrist shot to the opposite corner, beating John Gibson for his first of the year.

Panik has played well since returning from LTIR but has been robbed by goalies like Carter Hart, Cary Price, and Jaroslav Halak. That first one must feel like a huge relief. 

Kuznetsov fakes on the power play

The Caps had only one opportunity on the power play Monday, but took advantage thanks to an epic fake by Evgeny Kuznetsov. John Carlson fed Kuznetsov near the blue line and he inched his way towards the net. He got to the top of the faceoff circle, lifted his leg and looked like he was about to wrist one on net. That's what I thought, that's what Gibson thought, that's what the penalty killers thought. Instead, Kuznetsov fed Alex Ovechkin in the office, giving him an empty net to shoot on.

Give Ovechkin an open net from the office and he's going to finish that play.

Stephenson scores before all hell breaks loose

Just when things were getting crazy, Chandler Stephenson took a pass from Hathaway and fired a wrister from the high-slot to beat Gibson. Except no one noticed. Right before the pass, Brendan Leipisic crushed Derek Grant at the goal line and it was on. It was not even clear if the goal counted until the players were finally separated several minutes later. When it stood, the score was 3-0 and the game was over because, at that point, both teams were focused on all the extracurriculars.

A goal and a goal washed out

Jakub Vrana added an exclamation point in the third period to make the score 4-0. Anaheim also had a goal washed out as Rickard Rakell was called for incidental contact for clipping Holtby in the shoulder, spinning him before the shot was fired. Anaheim mustered a minor comeback bid in the third, but Vrana's goal and the Ducks' no-goal made the lead insurmountable.

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Capitals, Ducks brawl as Washington extends lead late in second period

Capitals, Ducks brawl as Washington extends lead late in second period

Drop your gloves and toss those helmets!

The first good fight of the Capitals season has graced Capital One Arena Monday night as Washington hosted the Anaheim Ducks. Brendan Leipsic was one of the main instigators after some aggression boiled over from the previous faceoff. 

Thankfully for Capitals fans, Chandler Stephenson calmly finished in front of the goal to extend the lead to 3-0 while the Ducks were too busy fighting in the corner. 

A few of the Ducks defenders teamed up on Leipsic following his vicious hip-check away from the action. While Stephenson cashed in, other Caps came to Leipsic's defense. 

Garnet Hathaway was assessed a match penalty for the fight's only ejection, most likely because he spit at an Anaheim player. There were 11 total penalties given to five different players. 

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